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A+ Hardwood Floors Knows Proper Flooring Installation Techniques

Hardwood floors are an excellent addition to any home, bringing style and beauty to each room. The natural and organic grains combined with the soft hues of natural wood instantly create a warm and inviting feeling. But when it comes to the basement, you may be wondering if it’s possible to install hardwood flooring directly on top of the concrete. The short answer is yes; but be sure to talk to the experts before making a final decision. A+ Hardwood Floors is your Denver, CO hardwood flooring expert, and we know all there is to know about installing hardwood over concrete. We’ll help you make the best decision for your home and complete a flawless installation.

Is Installing Hardwood Over a Concrete Slab a Good Idea?

It’s certainly possible to install hardwood floors over concrete, but you’ll need to consider numerous factors before doing so. As long as the concrete is well prepared and the hardwood flooring installation is completed by a professional, you shouldn’t have a problem. The team at A+ Hardwood Flooring has many years of experience in this process and can ensure your slab is ready for brand-new hardwood. Our expert team can help you better understand how to install hardwood floors in your basement.

Advantages of Wood Flooring on a Concrete Basement Slab

Hardwood flooring is incredibly popular, and for good reason. Though this flooring option often comes with a slightly higher price tag, homeowners continue to choose it because of its high durability, low maintenance, and easy clean-up. Hardwood floors can last for many years and only require very minimal refinishing or staining. Not to mention they can be easily swept or wiped to remove dirt or dust. In addition to these practical benefits, hardwood flooring also has many stylistic advantages, especially when it’s installed over a concrete slab. These advantages include:

  • Aesthetics: Standard concrete floors are dull and boring. But after hardwood installation, your space will be completely transformed. These floors offer style and elegance and easily combine with other design elements.
  • Warmth: Concrete floors are cold and uninviting. By installing hardwood flooring over them, you can make your space feel warmer and cozier, creating a great new hangout spot.
  • Value: Due to their upscale look and durability, hardwood floors are a worthwhile investment. Their desirability among potential homeowners could mean that your home will bring a higher price should you ever decide to sell.

Things to Consider Before Installing Hardwood Over Concrete

Before swiftly choosing hardwood flooring to go over a concrete slab, don’t forget to take a few factors into consideration. After all, you don’t want to invest in hardwood flooring only to have it ruined later due to improper preparation. The experienced team at A+ Hardwood Floors can help determine if your concrete slab is in suitable condition for hardwood flooring installation. Our experts have been completing projects like this for years, so we know exactly what to look for and have a keen eye for identifying potential problems. Plus, we can help prepare you for how to select the hardwood flooring best suited to your needs. Some of the things you’ll want to consider before installing hardwood over concrete include the following:

  • Grade Level: Grade level refers to the position of the slab in relation to the ground. Your slab either sits above ground level (above grade), on the same level as the ground (on grade), or below ground level (below grade). The grade level will help determine the best method for successful hardwood floor installation.
  • Age of Concrete Floor: Hardwood flooring cannot be placed over a freshly poured concrete slab, so if you’re moving into a newly-constructed home, you’ll have to wait until the concrete has fully cured. This process can take 6 to 8 weeks, and during that time, excess moisture will evaporate from the slab. If you install your floors too early, this moisture could ruin the wood.
  • Moisture Level: Even established concrete slabs can wick moisture from the ground and allow it to seep into your home. If your home is regularly damp, has high levels of humidity, or your foundation doesn’t drain well, you won’t want to install hardwood floors until you can fix the issue. Have a waterproofing expert look at your slab first to determine the best solution.

How Moisture Plays a Role in Hardwood Flooring

Moisture is the ultimate enemy of hardwood flooring. High levels of humidity or excess moisture from the slab can cause hardwood floors to warp or buckle. Wood is incredibly porous and will absorb moisture, causing it to expand and deteriorate. To ensure successful wood floor installation, you must place a moisture barrier between the concrete slab and flooring. Typically, the moisture barrier is a plastic sheet laid across the slab and taped at the seams with waterproof tape. This barrier will protect your floors from any moisture seeping in from the slab.

The Hardwood Floor Installation Process

Do you know how to install wood flooring? If you’re like most homeowners, your answer is likely no. Installation is a complicated task best left to the professionals. Fortunately, the team at A+ Hardwood Floors has the experience to take care of the process from start to finish. Our process will follow these basic steps:

  • Removal of Flooring Material: While some homes may have a bare concrete slab, others may currently have flooring material over the top of their slab. If so, we’ll start by pulling up any old flooring, such as carpet or laminate. We’ll also remove any baseboards and put them aside for later use. You may want to use this opportunity to spruce up your baseboards with a new stain or fresh coat of paint.
  • Concrete Preparation: The concrete will need to be prepped before the installation process can continue. This may include grinding away any paint, glue, or finish previously adhered to the concrete.
  • Moisture Barrier Installation: Next, we’ll install an appropriate moisture barrier to keep any excess water from reaching your hardwood floor. We’ll make sure the barrier is properly installed, and all seams are sealed.
  • Place & Secure Hardwood Flooring: Now that all the prep work is done, we can finally begin to lay out the hardwood flooring. We’ll use our expertise to precisely install your hardwood flooring and properly fasten it in place.
  • Add Finishing Touches: Lastly, we’ll reinstall your old baseboards or add new ones if you desire. This will finish up the wood floor installation project, and you’ll be able to enjoy your new design feature.

Installation Options for Hardwood Flooring

Now that you better understand how to install hardwood flooring, you can take a look at your installation options. You have a few choices, but not all installation methods are created equal. DIY is never a good idea, and improper installation can ruin your hardwood flooring before you ever get to enjoy it. That’s why you should only trust this job with an experienced team. We’ll ensure everything is done correctly so your floor looks beautiful and is protected. Different methods of hardwood installation include:

  • Attached to Concrete: This is most common among DIY projects and is absolutely not recommended. Some DIYers mistakenly believe they can place hardwood flooring directly on top of concrete and secure it in place with glue or nails. This option will not produce proper results.
  • Plywood Subfloor: Another method to install hardwood flooring is to first build a plywood subfloor on top of the concrete. The plywood can be placed directly on top of the waterproof barrier to provide an extra layer of insulation. The hardwood floor is then installed and secured on top of the subfloor.
  • Floating Floor: The floating floor option is usually recommended. This style of flooring gets its name from the fact that it just sits or “floats” on top of the concrete slab. It is not permanently attached to the concrete and is instead held in place by pieces that snap together.

Contact Us for More Information about Hardwood Floors

If you are considering installing hardwood floors over your concrete slab, A+ Hardwood Floors is the team to ensure the job is done right. Our experience and record of customer satisfaction speak for themselves. We’re proud to have completed so many successful hardwood floor installations over the years, and our team wants to help you as well. To learn more about our services, feel free to contact us during regular business hours.